Trump Has Been Right On Nato For Years

By John J. Duncan Jr.

President Biden said Donald Trump’s statement about NATO was “dumb, shameful, dangerous, un-American.”

Never has such a mean-spirited partisan political statement been made from the White House by a president about his leading opponent.

The know-it-all analysts in the national media jumped on too, acting like Trump had brought a skunk to the garden party.

And then, of course, Sen. Mitt Romney joined in from the Senate floor, but he cares more about praise from the Washington Post and the New York Times than he does about his constituents in Utah.

Actually, if you read what Trump has said about NATO over the years, the great majority of the American people agree with him.

In July 2018, NPR reported that just before joining a NATO plenary session in Brussels, Belgium, Trump called most NATO members “freeloaders.”

Then President Trump said, “Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they’re delinquent as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up, it’s massive amounts of money is owed.”

A Reuters news story of Feb. 13 said: “As a U.S. President from 2017-21, Trump often lambasted NATO and members such as Germany, accusing them of not paying enough for their own defence and relying on Washington to protect them.”

The story added that other administrations, both Democrat and Republican “have also accused Europeans of not spending enough on defence, but in less strident terms.”

What started all this brouhaha was when Trump said at a campaign rally in South Carolina that he was asked by a European leader if the U.S. would defend his country if it was delinquent in NATO dues.

Every country in NATO has agreed to spend two percent of its GDP on its military each year. Presently only 11 of the 31 NATO countries are meeting this requirement. Many of these countries have never spent that much.

As in most international agreements and foreign wars, American taxpayers have had to pay most of the bill. Trump has never thought that was fair.

Under Article five of the NATO Charter, if any of the 31 countries are attacked, all the others are required to go to war, too, and the U.S. would have to pay most of the cost.

This means that the U.S. could be forced to go to war to defend countries like Estonia, Albania and Bulgaria as well as several bigger countries.

The national media put President Biden into the White House and has had to protect him all through his term, especially now with his mental lapses. This means that Trump has to be attacked every day, even when he may be right.

Sen. Robert A. Taft was a graduate of the Harvard Law School and was considered, even by his opponents, to be a brilliant man of principle.

He was one of the men featured in President John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles In Courage.” Taft was sometimes called “Mr. Republican” and was the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate when he died of cancer in 1953.

Kennedy described Taft as a man “of national greatness.” He said the senator was a “brilliant political analyst” and called him “Mr. Integrity.”

Taft was also the main opponent of the creation of NATO in 1949. On July 6, 1949, he said: “I believe our foreign policy should be aimed primarily at security and peace, and I believe such an alliance is more likely to produce war than peace.”

He added: “How would we feel if Russia undertook to arm a country on our border; Mexico, for instance?”

He said this alliance could require us to go to war “no matter who is to blame.”

Taft said then, that ringing Russia by arming all the countries of Western Europe could look like an attack on Russia, and when we brought Finland (on Russia’s border) into NATO last year, the Russian Defense Minister called it an “act of war.”

Jeffrey Toobin, the liberal CNN analyst, wrote in USA Today that he disagreed with Trump on everything, “but he was right on Ukraine.”

There would have been no war in Ukraine if Trump had been re-elected because he had told the Russians he would not expand NATO to the border between the two countries.

On Feb. 9, 1990, at a meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Secretary of State James Baker made what we called “ironclad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward” from Germany (meaning closer to Russia).

We broke that promise with Finland, and since Trump was no longer president, Putin apparently felt Ukraine was next.